Monday, April 30, 2012

Karly Kirkpatrick

Local author Karly Kirkpatrick will be at the library on Wednesday, May 9 at 7pm!

Karly grew up around Bartlett and currently lives in Elgin. Her novel, Bloody Little Secrets, actually takes place in Bartlett and the Chicago suburbs!   

Bloody Little Secrets follows the story of 17-year-old Vicky Hernandez who has a big problem. She's dead. Or not quite. After waking up in a coffin and discovering she's been turned into a vampire, Vicky struggles to start over and settle into a normal life in the Chicago suburbs. If only she could stop wanting to bite her awesome new boyfriend. Vicky is also dying to find out how she became a vampire and why it happened. Soon the man who created her comes looking for her and now he's in need of her blood.

Also read: Into the Shadows 
Paivi Anderson has it all—friends, a spot on the varsity basketball team, wonderful parents, and, quite possibly, her first boyfriend. It's everything a freshman in high school could ask for but her perfect life begins to crumble when she discovers her name on a list distributed by a power-hungry presidential candidate. How could anyone think of Paivi as an "Enemy of the State?" Could it be because of her special powers? No one was supposed to know about them, but the mysterious messages in her tater tots say otherwise. Paivi must quickly learn who her friends are when she is forced into a reality she didn’t see coming. A sequel will be published this summer.

Both of these novels are enjoyable reads. They're both quirky and suspenseful and Into the Shadows is particularly chilling.

Karly helped create Dark Side Publishing which publishes YA novels. Check out their website! You can download some of their awesome titles for free!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill

Cover imagePoor Jack! All of his life he has felt invisible. He has no friends, and his mother and father have never really paid attention to him and only seem interested in his older brother Baxter. There aren't even any pictures of him in their home; just Baxter. When his parents decide to divorce, Jack is sent to live with his Aunt Mabel and Uncle Clive in Hazelwood, Iowa. Just Jack, not Baxter. Jack has never even heard of Aunt Mabel and Uncle Clive, much less a town called Hazelwood. But strangely, his aunt and uncle seem to know him. They even have pictures of him when he waws a little boy, taken in their living room. How could that be?

At first, Jack thinks it might not be too bad here in Hazelwood. His aunt and uncle seem nice, and he even begins to make a few friends. However, he senses that things just don't feel right... Odd things happen as the summer progresses, and these events all seem to revolve around a very special, very old book The Secret History of Hazelwood. Some of Jack's things disappear, and while trying to solve that mystery, Jack discovers that in Hazelwood, children disappear as well...

Creeped out yet? You will be, after reading The Mostly True Story of Jack.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Novels in Verse

April is National Poetry Month. Recently, a lot of YA authors have been writing novels-in-verse or novels told through poetry or through a series of poems. Here are few good novels-in-verse to check out.

Shark Girl by Kelly L. Bingham
On a sunny day in June, at the beach with her mom and brother, fifteen-year-old Jane Arrowood went for a swim. And then everything -- absolutely everything -- changed. Now she's counting down the days until she returns to school with her fake arm, where she knows kids will whisper, "That's her -- that's Shark Girl," as she passes. In the meantime there are only questions: Why did this happen? Why her? What about her art? What about her life? 

Hidden by Helen Frost
When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra's father steals a minivan. He doesn't know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Darra is left with a question that only Wren can answer. Wren has questions, too.  Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth--that is, if they're willing to reveal to each other the stories that they've hidden for so long.

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there. Cara's parents' unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run, Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he'll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood. Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect? 
Ellen Hopkins has written several other novels in verse.

Addie on the Inside by James Howe
Addie Carle is opinionated, and sometimes…just a bit obnoxious. But as seventh grade progresses, Addie's not so sure anymore about who she is. It seems her tough exterior is just a little too tough and that doesn't help her deal with the turmoil she feels on the inside as she faces the pains of growing up. Addie confronts experiences many readers will relate to: the loss of a beloved pet, first heartbreak, teasing…but also, friendship, love, and a growing confidence in one's self. 

Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ronald Koertge
Fielding his social life is a bigger challenge for Kevin than hitting a fastball. Fourteen-year-old Kevin Boland has a passion for playing baseball, a knack for writing poetry -- and a cute girlfriend named Mira who's not much interested in either. But then, Kevin doesn't exactly share Mira's newfound fervor for all things green. So when Kevin signs up for open mike night at Bungalow Books and meets Amy, a girl who knows a sonnet from a sestina and can match his emails verse for verse, things start to get sticky. Should he stay with Mira? Or risk spoiling his friendship with Amy by asking her out? 

Sold by Patricia McCormick
Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her desperately poor family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. When the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family’s crops, Lakshmi’s stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family. He tells her he will find her a job as a maid but Lakshmi soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution. An old woman named Mumtaz cruelly rules the brothel. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family’s debt—then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave. Then the day comes when she must make a decision—will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life?

Far From You by Lisa Schroeder
Years have passed since Alice lost her mother to cancer, but time hasn't quite healed the wound. Alice copes the best she can by writing her music, losing herself in her love for her boyfriend, and distancing herself from her father and his new wife. But when a deadly snowstorm traps Alice with her stepmother and newborn half sister, she'll face issues she's been avoiding for too long. As Alice looks to the heavens for guidance, she discovers something wonderful. Perhaps she's not so alone after all....
Look for Lisa Schroeder's other novels in verse.